As news of a mass shooting at a San Jose, California rail yard broke on Wednesday morning, leaving at least eight people dead, retired NYPD detective Pat Brosnan took to Fox News to suggest that the country’s gun violence epidemic will worsen as more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Once COVID starts to lift, these cowardly shooters will come out exactly in tandem with the number of vaccinations,” Brosnan said. “You can be sure they probably got vaccinated. They were just scared to come out.”
Brosnan added that active shootings are “skyrocketing” throughout the U.S. as the country begins showing signs of recovery from the pandemic.
Brosnan’s remarks were in response to news that a transit worker allegedly opened fire at a light-rail yard in San Jose reportedly killing at least eight people, many of whom were coworkers of the suspected shooter at the Valley Transportation Authority. The alleged gunman also died, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office.
San Jose city councilman Raul Peralez said that the shooting occurred during a union meeting in a building with about 80 people. The Wall Street Journal reported that the shooter had multiple firearms, citing a law-enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation.
Although the lack of large gatherings during COVID lockdowns made for fewer mass shootings compared to years past, the epidemic of gun violence in the country remained an ongoing threat during the pandemic. By some metrics, such as data collected by the Gun Violence Archive — which defines mass shootings as a minimum of four victims shot (either fatally or not) excluding any alleged shooter’s death or injury during an attack — mass shootings actually rose sharply in 2020.
Brosnan’s unsubstantiated prediction of an increase in mass shootings in the country due to more Americans getting vaccinated also falls in line with a common theme at Fox News. Commentators have been airing mixed messages about whether viewers should get inoculated against the infectious disease. And Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who routinely leads the network in primetime ratings, has consistently espoused misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines during his show by relying on unverified data.
Watch Brosnan’s bizarre, conspiracy theory-laced remarks below:
This seems like a weird takeaway from the San Jose mass shooting.
Retired NYPD detective Pat Brosnan on Fox News: "Once covid starts to lift, these cowardly shooters will come out exactly in tandem with the number of vaccinations. You can be sure they probably got vaccinated." pic.twitter.com/XfZL4JgsBW
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) May 26, 2021